Kira Vinke Heads DGAP’s New Center for Climate and Foreign Policy

Vinke co-chairs the Advisory Board to the German Federal Government on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding. As a scientist, she remains affiliated with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), where she previously worked.


Dr. Kira Vinke joined the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) as head of its newly founded Center for Climate and Foreign Policy. The center, which is funded by the SUN Institute Environment & Sustainability for the next five years, is a key addition to DGAP’s thematic programs that are designed to catalyze interdisciplinary foreign policy thinking.

As a scientist, she will continue to be affiliated with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) where she led the East Africa Peru India Climate Capacities (EPICC) project before joining DGAP.

Vinke’s areas of expertise include climate migration, civilian crisis prevention, and the impact of climate on human development and violent conflict, especially in South Asia, the Pacific, and the Sahel, where she has done extensive field research. In this new position, she will conduct interdisciplinary research and foster exchange on the foreign policy implications of the climate crisis. The thematic foci of the center are the effects of climate impacts on migration and human security as well as the interface of climate policy and geo-economics.

“We are delighted that Kira Vinke will bring her deep knowledge of the connection between climate change and crisis prevention to the German Council on Foreign Relations, strengthening DGAP’s expertise on the wide-ranging effects of climate impacts on different societal systems,” said DGAP Director Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook. “Germany must play a leading role in shaping the discourse and policy practice in foreign policy and climate policy. The country urgently needs connected policy in these areas. Kira will lead innovative work toward mapping out how best to advance foreign policy instruments in curtailing the advancement and impact of climate change – for Germany, for Europe, and vis-à-vis international partners.”

Until 2018, Vinke was a research analyst to the director of PIK. In this capacity, she worked from 2014 to 2016 as an analyst for the German Advisory Council on Global Change to the Federal Government (WBGU). She provided her expertise as a consultant for the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and the Asian Development Bank.

Vinke completed her doctoral dissertation (summa cum laude) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on the subject of climate change and migration; her studies were funded by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. For her dissertation, she received the “Potsdamer Nachwuchswissenschaftler-Preis,” a prize for young scientists, from the city of Potsdam.

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